Scented candles are indeed one of the simplest and most beneficial ways to mask bad odors in our homes, offices, etc. Also, they’re the most common choice when it comes to creating a relaxing ambient to relax after a long day or while taking a soothing bath.
However, there’s a major problem with these candles- it’s the scent itself. Namely, Anne Steinemann, an environmental pollutants expert explains that some candles may release several dangerous chemicals, including toluene and benzene.
These chemicals can damage the lungs, brain, and central nervous system and trigger developmental problems too.
Why Scented Candles Are a Bad Choice
Steinemann notes that she has heard from different individuals with asthma that they can’t enter stores where scented candles are being sold, even when they’re not burned. This is because they release so much fragrance that can cause asthma attacks and migraines.
In 2009, South Carolina State University researchers tested petroleum-based paraffin wax candles and vegetable ones without scents, pigments, and dyes. The report noted that even though the vegetable ones didn’t produce possibly dangerous pollutants, the paraffin ones emitted unwanted chemicals.
For individuals who light this type of candles every day for years or uses them on a regular basis, breathing in these pollutants could lead to higher risk of diseases like allergies, asthma, and cancer.
What Does the National Candle Association Have to Say?
The association refutes such claims and stated for The Huffington Post that decades of research show the safety of scented candles, as well as history of safe use and fragrance testing.
The fragrances that are approved for usage in candles, whether they’re natural or synthesized, don’t emit toxins. And, studies are performed for the fragrance materials in candles, including dermatological and toxicological tests.
Are There Healthier Alternatives?
Without doubt, it’s unpleasant to think that the candles you’re regularly using could be bad for you. Even though the risk for you may not be big, you can opt for alternatives.
Opt for unscented ones and avoid the ones with fragrance and essential oils due to the possible chemical presence.